“This World Cup on the field of play was exceptional,” he added.
Blatter admitted he had been “a little bit surprised” to see Argentine star Lionel Messi selected as best player after his fine early form tailed off during the knockout stages, but added “his goals were decisive” in the group stage.
Blatter also said the event had been notable for its spirit of fair play but said football had to continue to strive ever harder to erase racism.
Brazil’s Local Organizing Committee said it calculated that some 700,000 foreign visitors had visited Brazil in June alone — 132% more than the same month last year when Brazil hosted the eight-team Confederations Cup.
– Strong integration –
Prior to the World Cup Brazil had predicted 600,000 foreign visitors for the World Cup as a whole.
Deputy Sports Minister Luis Fernandes said one of the resons why the event had gone so well, after initial concerns at construction delays and poor infrastructure, was strong integration between organizers and the government.
Protests during the Confederations Cup warm up in June of last year drew a million people on to the streets.
Police using tear gas and pepper spray did break up one protest Sunday which drew some 300 people to a gathering near Rio’s Maracana stadium hosting the final.
Amnesty International on Monday duly complained about what it saw as heavy-handed police tactics as intimidation.
In a statement, Amnesty demanded an independent investigation “into the many abuses committed by Brazilian police against protestors during the last weekend.”
“The violence meted out by the security forces over the course of the World Cup was excessive, unnecessary and a direct threat to the right to peaceful protest,” said Atila Roque, Director of Amnesty International Brazil.
Brazil, which will host the first Olympic Games to be held in South America in Rio in 20106, now hands the World Cup torch to 2018 hosts Russia.
Alexey Sorokin, the CEO of the Russia Organizing Committee, promised that, while Brazil had set the bar high, his nation would offer an “unparalleled atmosphere” and an “unforgettable tournament”.